Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


Students gain an understanding of the origins of ionising radiation, how radiation is detected and measured, and learn about the equipment used to measure radiation. The basic principles of radiotherapy methods and equipment are explored and an understanding of clinical beams, dosimetry, treatment planning, quality assurance and radiotherapy techniques are developed.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate understanding of the origins of ionising radiation and its interaction with matter; (2) describe the principles of detection and accurate measurement of radiation; (3) understand the fundamental principles underlying basic radiation measurement instruments and describe how to use these instruments to measure radiation; (4) understand the principles underlying radiotherapy methods and radiotherapy equipment; (5) understand the characteristics of clinical beams and their measurement; (6) understand dosimetry measurements used in radiotherapy; (7) describe acceptance, commissioning, and quality assurance of equipment in radiotherapy; (8) understand basic treatment planning in radiotherapy; (9) understand the use of sealed and unsealed sources in radiotherapy, including the basic principles of brachytherapy; and (10) discuss a range of clinical applications and novel radiotherapy techniques and their advantages.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) assignments; (2) tutorial preparation and participation; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the final examination component.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Pejman Rowshan Farzad
Unit rules
Enrolment in in the
CM015 Bachelor of Science [Frontier Physics] and Master of Physics
or 73660 Master of Medical Physics
or the 53560 Master of Physics
and Enrolment (other than course) in the SP-MEDPH Medical Physics specialisation and completion of the core units in the Physics major or equivalent
Advisable prior study
PHYS5404 Radiation Physics and Dosimetry
Contact hours
2 - 3 hours per week plus an extra hour of practicals in some weeks.

Johns, H. E. and Cunningham, J. R. The Physics of Radiology, 4th edn: Springfield 1984

Khan, F. The Physics of Radiation Therapy, 4th edn: Williams and Wilkins 2010

Khan, F. M. Treatment Planning in Radiation Oncology: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins 2007

Mayles, P., Nahum, A. and Rosenwald, J. C. Handbook of Radiotherapy Physics: Theory and Practice: Taylor & Francis 2007

Podgorsak, E. B. Radiation Oncology Physics: a Handbook for Teachers and Students: International Atomic Energy Agency 2005

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.